Gu had 'mental breakdown' at time of Heywood's death
Gu Kailai, the wife of the fallen Communist leader Bo Xilai accused of poisoning British businessman Neil Heywood, claimed she suffered a "mental breakdown" before his death, and will "calmly face" any sentence handed to her.
Ms Gu claimed she was worried for the safety of her son, who Mr Heywood is alleged to have threatened after business deals she brokered for him soured.
"I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy. The tragedy which was created by me was not only extended to Neil, but also to several families," Xinhua, the official news agency, quoted her as telling the court – from which foreign media were barred – at her trial on Thursday.
"I solemnly tell the court that in order to maintain the dignity of the law, I will accept and calmly face any sentence and I also expect a fair and just court decision," she said, according to Xinhua.
Four Chinese police officers admitted that they tried to cover up the murder, according to a court official.
The officers testified yesterday at the same court in Hefei where Ms Gu accepted murder charges on Thursday, but did not reveal why they had sought to hide her involvement, reporters were told.
Mr Heywood's death in November 2011 was initially deemed accidental and his body quickly cremated. But this explanation fell into doubt when former Chongqing police chief, Wang Lijun, told a US consulate in February he had evidence about the death of Mr Heywood. The South China Morning Post reported that Mr Wang could be tried for treason next week in Chengdu.
According to the prosecutors' statement, Ms Gu attempted to kill Mr Heywood in his hotel room in Chongqing by plying him with alcohol and poisoning him. But it appears that her defence team may have argued that the poison could not have caused his death since tests found a "non-lethal dose" in a sample of his blood.
In a post published on the Boxun news website, Zhao Xiangcha, one of the observers, said there were reports of a third person involved in the case.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 2 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 4 Amy Winehouse unpublished 2004 interview: ‘Ten years from now I’ll be 30, so I’ll maybe have one baby’
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash: 'Nine Britons, 23 Americans and 80 children' feared dead after Boeing passenger jet is 'shot down' near Ukraine-Russia border
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...